BRF’s Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy (CMIT) is the first positron emission tomography (PET) center in Louisiana to offer the latest imaging procedure for breast cancer using a newly available radiopharmaceutical that detects certain metastatic breast cancer lesions.
Cerianna™ by GE HealthCare® detects Estrogen Receptor-positive (ER+) lesions that have possibly spread to other parts of the body. ER+ breast cancer cells have receptors that allow them to use estrogen to grow. Cerianna attaches to the receptor, and a PET scan detects ER+ cells throughout the body if a patient’s breast cancer has spread. A tissue sample taken from the breast during a biopsy is tested to determine whether the cancer is ER+.
Currently, fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is the most common radiopharmaceutical used for detecting cancer. Fast-growing cancer cells consume the sugar-based radiopharmaceutical, which is detected by a PET scan. Cerianna attaches to the estrogen receptor in cancer cells to help PET scans detect these lesions. This is potentially very valuable for detecting ER+ lesions located in an area of the body which is difficult or impossible to biopsy. Knowing the ER status of these lesions allows the treating oncologist to determine the proper therapy to treat the patient’s disease.
“Cerianna has a half-life of about two hours, which means PET imaging centers that would like to use this radiopharmaceutical must be close to where it is being manufactured,” said Dr. Stephen Lokitz, Interim Executive Director of CMIT. “One location that is producing the radiopharmaceutical is in Dallas, which fits within the time constraints. Now that this procedure is available at CMIT, patients will no longer need to travel to Dallas or farther for this diagnostic scan. We are pleased to now be able to care for these patients here in Shreveport.”
When a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, their oncologist will determine whether a PET scan is needed. The Cerianna procedure at CMIT will be made available to patients based on physician referrals.